August 09, 2017

Hawaii Non-Profits Receive Over $200,000 to Promote Understanding of Native Hawaiian, East Asian History and Culture

Supports Initiatives by Manoa Heritage Center & East-West Center

Washington, D.C. Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) today announced that the Manoa Heritage Center and East-West Center will receive more than $200,000 from the National Endowment of the Humanities to support activities that enhance the understanding of Native Hawaiian and East Asian history and culture.

“Programs like the Manoa Heritage Center and East-West Center help expand our knowledge of the histories, languages, and cultures that shape our world view,” said Senator Hirono. “I remain committed to ensuring that Hawaii continues to receive important federal funding for programs that support the humanities.”

As part of the grant funding, the Manoa Heritage Center will receive $90,000 to offer educational programs and preservation activities related to Hawaiian language, culture, and history.

“Manoa Heritage Center is honored to be a recipient of a 2017 National Endowment for the Humanities “Creating Humanities Communities” grant,” said Jenny Engle, Director of Education at the Manoa Heritage Center. “This project will allow MHC to partner with Hawaiian language researchers and educators from Awaiaulu, the Hawaii State Department of Education, and the University of Hawaii’s Uehiro Academy for Philosophy and Ethics in Education, to create a vibrant community focused on providing previously unavailable humanities resources for Hawaii’s educators. As an organization that has cared for Kukaoo Heiau, an 800-year-old wahi pana, and a large collection of indigenous and endemic Hawaiian plants, MHC is dedicated to promoting the thoughtful stewardship of the natural and cultural heritage of Hawaii. This project will enable MHC to continue to serve as a relevant place-based resource for teachers, students and the greater community.”

In addition, the East-West Center will receive $187,257 to provide 25 college and university faculty with a four-week institute examining how Buddhism has shaped East Asia. A joint initiative by the East-West Center and University of Hawaii, the institute will take place during the summer of 2018.

“The faculty-development institute supported by this grant funding will enable educators from across the U.S. to develop course materials about how, for nearly two thousand years, Buddhism has shaped the culture, arts, economy, and politics of East Asia,” said Dr. Peter Hershock, Director of the Asian Studies Development Program at the East-West Center. “Attracting individuals from various backgrounds to our state, our program extends the learning experience beyond the walls of the classroom into the local community, providing participants the opportunities to explore the natural, cultural, and culinary attractions of Hawaii.”

Senator Hirono continues to support strong funding for the arts and humanities through NEH, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and other federal agencies. Earlier this year, she signed a letter with her colleagues requesting $149 million for NEH during fiscal year 2018. Since 2014, Hawaii has received more than $2 million from NEH to support state and local programs and activities.